One Alone in the World

Romance - Contemporary
385 Pages
Reviewed on 09/21/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

One Alone in the World combines phycological romantic suspense with two of my passions, animals and music. Of all my books, this one was the greatest fun to write thanks to my American friend, Paul Tait.

Paul is a composer, band leader, and singer, and he gave me permission to use the lyrics of two of his songs, and not simply to quote them. They are woven into the tapestry of the story.

One Alone in the World can be read as a standalone, but it is part of the Richard and Maria Trilogy, and in books one and two they have a dog called Ben, a Jack Russell terrier based my own Weimaraner, who crept into the hearts of many Amazon reviewers.

Sadly, when you adopt a dog, heartache comes along for the ride. Ben couldn't live forever, so next on the scene is Annie, a Rough Collie Richard gives to his daughter, Eleanor.

"Rough Collie" is an odd name. My real "Annie" was a very beautiful and very gentle dog, unwanted, as too may are, which is why I donate 100% of the royalties from my books to animal charities.

Later, grown-up Eleanor adopts the Midnight Angels - two dogs "because all they have is each other". Richard calls them "Midnight Devils" sometimes, but who can blame an ill-treated animal for being defensive?

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In the final part of the Richard and Maria trilogy, One Alone in the World by Sarah Stuart, the couple is facing financial and relationship difficulties. The business they inherited from Maria's late surrogate father, The White Hart Inn, is struggling and Richard's once devoted musical fan base is diminishing. As their own insecurities and problems take priority, they forget the love and passion they once shared. Their young daughter, Eleanor, is witness to her parents' constant arguments and overhears revelations that make her believe maybe she is the cause of the difficulties. Determined to make her parents happy, Eleanor secretly contacts the maternal grandmother she has never met. This brings ghosts and painful memories from the past into their lives and threatens to tear Richard and Maria apart for good.

Although this is the third book in the trilogy, Sarah Stuart has cleverly included all the main plot points from the first two novels, so this can be enjoyed as a stand-alone read. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the previous novels in this series, I have to say this novel is of the same high standard. The plot is filled with intrigue, tension, and suspense. There are so many layers to the plot as Maria's and Richard's own insecurities and past experiences make them blind to their wonderful characteristics. Their negative inner beliefs really put a wedge in their marriage. The obstacles Maria and Richard had to overcome were superb; self-doubt, people from their past determined to seek their revenge, and crossed wires all added to the irresistible nature of the plot.

I loved the developing relationship between Eleanor and Brian, and this made for an excellent sub-plot. As with the first two novels, you are completely submerged in the lives of the characters and want them to believe in themselves and their amazing qualities. Eleanor was such a sweet girl; her loving and caring nature was amazing. As with the previous novels, there were some great song lyrics by Richard throughout. There are many life lessons to be taken from One Alone in the World too. What is the true meaning of happiness and love? Also, only believe what you see with your own eyes and do not allow those with a hidden agenda to influence you.

R Coulson

One Alone in the World is all too relevant in a modern society, and any working parent will empathise with the mistakes Richard and Maria make and the guilt of juggling different aspects of their lives less than successfully. It’s beautifully written, connects deeply with our own struggles to ‘do the right thing’ and makes us realise that we can’t be all things to all people. If you’ve read the first two books in the trilogy, you’ll already have fallen in love with Richard and Maria and be rooting for them to fulfil their dreams, now you will root for Eleanor as well. It’s a great trilogy, and if you like romantic suspense with real-life dramas and without the ‘steamy’ side, this one is for you.

Bill Ward

This is the third and final book in the series. What I like about the series has been the way the author has told a story about everyday experiences, to which we can all relate. This is especially true if you are a busy parent. And I don't know any parents that aren't busy. It is a clean romance with our main characters facing a variety of challenges but for me that just makes it representative of real life. Well written and a satisfying conclusion to the series.

Tom Benson

In this, the final part of the trilogy we get to see how seemingly normal family life is so much more below the surface. After all, Richard a talented singer, his pretty young wife Maria and their daughter Eleanor living over their own pub—they should be happy with their lot; right? Sadly life isn’t about what the outside world sees, it’s about the nitty-gritty, the real lives and worries.
In this tale, we don’t find the body count of a Rambo movie or the violence of Tarantino but we are treated to mystery, intrigue and suspense in an environment which might be that family just around the corner. Money worries, marital relationships and the natural needs of a trusting but lonely young daughter cause the stakes to be taken up a level as the family unit begins to unravel under the pressures.
We find a healthy mix of the usual ingredients; life, death, love, hate, loyalty, deceit, blackmail, kidnap … and a dog, of course. Good characterisation, dialogue and imagery laced throughout a believable and sustained plot make this a superb summary for the trilogy.


“One Alone in the World” is the third book in the “Richard and Maria” trilogy; and like the two before it, it is filled with intrigue, suspense, and... cooking!

Now the owners of The White Hart, a popular night club and eatery and the parents of a gifted seven year old daughter Eleanor, Richard and Maria’s world is still under the shadow of internal and external drama.

While reading, the old Meatloaf song “Objects in the Rear View Mirror are Closer Than They Appear” kept coming to mind. For the couple, the events of the past, people from the past, and their own past inner conflicts continually come up from behind to wreck havoc on what should be a successful happy life.

And in a majestic example of self abhorrence, one of the characters learns they are now wealthy and instead of doing hand stands and high fives, they find reason to not only be upset but angry about it!!

Sarah Stuart handles all the drama with a prose that is flowing and appropriately dynamic. Even through two time jumps, we are never left behind by the story thanks to her mastery of its telling.


Lesley Hayes

Having followed the story of Richard and Maria from its beginning, in book one of this captivating trilogy, I was delighted to see where the author took it in the final book, One Alone in the World. The focus now shifts to include their daughter Eleanor, who has her own inner and outer journey to pursue – much like that of her parents’ in her numerous misperceptions and anxieties. Sarah Stuart describes well the emotional pitfalls in modern relationships – the broken links and misunderstandings, the longing for genuine connection, especially when it comes to parents and children. Richard and Maria are painfully recognisable in their struggle to connect with each other as well as their daughter, and to reach a compromise that suits everyone as they continue their busy lives. The characters are engaging, the plot is absorbing, and this book brings about a satisfying resolution to the trilogy. It’s compelling reading, and another unmissable novel from this author.